By Daniel Hunter

First National Bank in South Africa has announced that it is working towards introducing an exciting new mobile payment device to its merchant services offering in the coming months. The announcement follows the conclusion of an agreement between the bank and mPowa, the first company to introduce this technology in the United Kingdom.

mPowa works by using a free mobile phone app and a reader which connects to a smartphone or mobile device by plugging into its headphone socket or connecting via Bluetooth. It enables companies and individuals to accept card payments from their customers on the go in a quick and convenient way. The mobile app is free to download on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices and functions as the control centre that accepts the payment.

The agreement will involve First National Bank embedding the mPowa tools and software into FNB’s own merchant services, which will enable them to tailor the look and identity of the card service whilst maintaining the sophisticated and patented functionality that mPowa offers.

Dan Wagner, Chairman and CEO of mPowa, said, “We’re delighted to have signed this important deal with First National Bank. It will enable them to mobilise thousands of their business customers which in turn will allow them to be much more flexible in how they do business. In today’s marketplace, nobody wants to be tied down to a fixed location.

Jacques Celliers, CEO of FNB Business Banking said, “We have recognised the need to support our merchants’ desire for mobility and convenience. We will be looking to mPowa to provide us with a robust and secure mobile environment that will appeal to our demanding and techno savvy customers.”

“The South African economy requires an entrepreneurial culture to be incubated and supported from all stakeholders. Thousands of our small business clients are in the services industry and a fixed merchant device is not of much use to them. This new technology promises to allow our customers to accept card payments anywhere, anytime. It could mean the difference between success or failure for many of them,” adds Celliers.

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